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Psychoanalytic Business Coaching

“Not again” – Get out of your personal Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in four steps

Most people know that you tend to get into the same difficult situations over and over again. Some experience that they are often rejected, others feel disadvantaged again and again or they feel ignored or oppressed within their limits. How can it be that some situations in our lives are constantly repeated? With a dilemma like this many people come to us for coaching. Today we will reveal a way out of their personal iteration loops.

The compulsion to repeat – a cycle for which we are not without responsibility.

Our approach starts with a daring proposition. We assume that we ourselves are responsible for such repetitions. However, this presupposes that these are really recurring situations. The model cannot be used for individual cases because, and this is really important, we are really not responsible for all the insults and injuries we experience. Only if you experience certain reactions of other people again and again, then it makes sense to discover the mechanism behind them.

1. How you experience others: Feeling hurt

First of all, take a look at the situation. Describe how you experience others. Usually insults or border violations are described here.

Main character: “Again and again I am disadvantaged. The last promotion should have gone to me, I have been in the office for a long time. Again another one was preferred. That is what happens to me all the time. I never get what I am entitled to.”


2. How you experience yourself: Your self-perception

Now describe how you have experienced yourself in this and other fitting situations. Usually this point is quite simple.

Main character “I do not understand it. I have always made an effort, I was diligent, reliable and friendly. I have a good relationship with all my colleagues and everyone likes me. I feel helpless because I don’t understand what I did wrong.”

3. How others experience you: what you offer in terms of a difficult relationship

The following is complicated. It is the question of how others experience you. This is sometimes difficult to assess from a very subjective point of view. If you are unsure, ask for feedback, ask friends, colleagues or even your superiors for honest feedback. What is interesting here is not a confirmation (“Yes, you are so good, you deserve this”) but that you find out where the assessment of others differs from your own assessment. It is therefore a matter of identifying difficult parts of what you offer in terms of relationships.

The feedback from a boss could be: “I experience you as strained and anxious. You are catious and always careful not to make a mistake. This makes you sometimes seem less contoured and quickly overstrained.”

4. How others then experience themselves (with you): Closing the circle.

Now the circle closes. You now ask the other person how he or she reacts to your way of making contact. When you have found the sore spot in what you offer in terms of relationships, you will find that other people react to it exactly the way you fear the most. The difference is that the other person’s reaction is not a recurring evil miracle, but a consequence, a reaction to your personal way of getting in touch.

The reaction of the boss may be described as follows: “When you are so strained and withdrawn, I have the impression that you need a little rest and it is better if I don’t put you through any more. I don’t want to overstrain you by entrusting you with a leadership function that could overtax you. It also irritates me when you are little contoured and visible. So I cannot trust you with a leadership position.”

Has it become clear to you how our main character has contributed to you being overlooked?


How you exit the pressure to repeat

1. Take responsibility for the situation.

2. Make yourself aware of our four steps. Think about the places where you appear different from how you perceive yourself.

3. Deal with insecurities and when you feel offended without unconsciously involving others. If necessary, get professional help at this delicate point. You can also contact us.

4. Change what you offer in terms of relationships.

5. Be happy about new reactions in your (professional) environment and new opportunities.


Dipl. Psych. A. Wurst